Monday Open Thread

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What’s on your mind?  Tell a brotha.  I don’t see anything new to report.

152 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. Funny they can always find a Sambo / crab in the barrell to bring a brother down.

    Coons For Clinton Join Skeptical Blacks in Dissing Brother Obama:

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=24899

    Clinton says she won’t concede Illinois to Obama

    May 07, 2007

    (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, said Monday she isn’t conceding the state to one of her chief rivals, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
    “We are competing across the country and I wanted to be sure that I had a chance to come here to let the people in this city and state know that I don’t consider Chicago or Illinois off limits to me,” the New York senator told reporters as she was surrounded by members of a group of mostly black ministers that she had met with at a downtown hotel.

    It’s typical for presidential candidates to try to poach support from each other’s home states and Obama regularly steps out on Clinton’s turf in New York, aggressively fundraising and courting voters. On a trip there last month, Obama and other presidential hopefuls, including Clinton, addressed a civil rights group founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton to woo black voters, a key voting bloc for the Democratic party.

    Her trip this time also included a luncheon address to a group that provides residential care for young people and breakfast with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who already has endorsed Obama.

    “I appreciate the political decision he made,” Clinton said of Daley, professing herself to be a “great fan” of his.

    Clinton was invited to speak to the group Pastors United for Change because the ministers are interested in gathering information about the candidates, said the Rev. James Demus III of Chicago.

    But Bishop Tavis Grant of the Greater First Church in East Chicago, Ind., already has his mind made up and he said he’s supporting Clinton.

    “The African-American community is not a monolithic community. We’re not all Democrat, we’re not all Republican and we shouldn’t be expected to support any one candidate simply because of their color,” Grant said.

    If elected, Obama would be the nation’s first black president. Clinton has enjoyed strong support in the black community, as did her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

    Grant said he value’s Clinton’s experience.

    “I think Hillary has grown to the point that she carries the experience and political capital to be president of the United States,” he said.

    An Obama spokesperson did not immediately return a call for comment.

  2. rikyrah

    I saw Fred Thompson on C-Span. Same old, same old GOP stuff.
    But, I do want him to get in the race and throw it all in disarray.

  3. rikyrah

    But Bishop Tavis Grant of the Greater First Church in East Chicago, Ind.,

    Never heard of him….at all.

  4. NMP

    dm,

    You know she has a habit of going into character when speaking before Black audiences. She had to juggle speaking engagements between the Black group and a White one, so she probably had on her Goldwater girl outfit with a Dorothy Tillman hat.

  5. rikyrah

    dm,

    You know she has a habit of going into character when speaking before Black audiences. She had to juggle speaking engagements between the Black group and a White one, so she probably had on her Goldwater girl outfit with a Dorothy Tillman hat.

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA

    This is hilarious.

    I tell people not to pay any mind to the condescention. That’s not done for a Black audience…it’s just her natural state. So, look beyond the condescention, and just listen to the speech.

  6. NMP

    I don’t know, rikyrah. Listening to her and Bill talk to Black folks like we just got off the plantation is unnerving. Metaphors comparing herself to cleaning people, referring to “us” cleaning up after folks, in a southern twang, is just too much condescension for me. Maybe it plays well with “downward” Black folks in Harlem, but I would highly advise her not try that routine out in P.G. County. They’ll let her know–with the quickness–that Black folks there ain’t cleaning houses no more; they hire their own help.

    I just wish White liberals generally would stop playing the Christian missionary role to the African savages and talk to us like we’re informed members of the electorate. Stop assuming that just because we’re born of or still in the inner-city that we don’t have interest in non-poverty issues. A sistah don’t ski or even like the cold weather, but I’m still interested in global warming and the prospects of mandatory carbon cap legislation.

  7. yogo

    I took the cleaning thing to have several meanings: 1)women talking about how they have to clean up after men, 2)Bill had to come clean up after Bush 1, 3)She might have to go clean up after Bush 2, 4)then there’s the obvious reference to actual cleaning people.

  8. rikyrah

    Swygert has had holy heck being raised there by the faculty. The man did raise $250 million for Howard,but maybe it was just time for him to go. I hope they pick well for the next President.

  9. Denise

    This transition is going to be interesting. Something tells me the next Prez will be a woman.

  10. rikyrah

    Watching Condi on Charlie Rose…..the woman has mad skills….why is she using them for wrongdoing?

  11. rikyrah

    What happened to Chaka Fattah in Philadelphia? Why is he now in 3rd place in the Mayor’s race?

  12. I’m really concerned by how high gas is. I need to go to summer school this summer. Well, TSU is about 25 miles from my house one-way. I don’t have the money to just pour it down the gas tank/drain. I think I can really only afford to go to one summer session.

    It’s a shame when you have to factor in the cost of gas when applying for a job. It’s a couple of jobs that I would like to apply for here in Houston. Well, there are on the other side of town. I would be paying a grip in gas just to get there. Unfortunately, the pay is not good enough to just pay all that money in gas. And since we just bought a house, moving closer to the job in the next year or so is out of question.

    This summer I wanted to fly to LA to see one of my best friends. I’ve already gotten word that the flights were going to be at the roof because of gas prices.

    What’s the excuse that the oil companies are giving now?

    SB: Falling Down was on HBO last night at about 3:00 in the morning. I thought about you and the post where you referenced this particular movie. LOL

  13. rikyrah, Just curious… Do you maintain your own blog? I’ve seen you on several blogs around the way. I’m always pleased when I see your name. I know you’re going to make a thoughtful, intelligent comment.

    If you have a blog, please provide the link. I would love to check you out. That’s if you don’t mind.

  14. dm

    I hope the gas prices continue to rise.

    Maybe then the traffic congestion will abate.

    Too many people are driving and if the high prices keeps some of them off of the road, that will be a benefit to the environment and to those of us who are in a hurry and have someplace to go and are tired of people in beater cars clogging up the roadways.

    Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and if you cannot afford it, you should car pool, take the bus, ride a bike, moped, motorcycly, walk or some other form of more affordable transportation.

  15. rikyrah

    Angie,

    I don’t have my own blog. I just like going around reading smart blogs. I was thrilled to find this Black political blogging community. I had given up politics for a couple of years, but now that I’m back to being a political junkie, these blogs are terrific.

  16. rikyrah

    Something hit me this morning – why don’t the ‘Urban’ members of the CBC comes up with their own 10 point ‘ Urban Agenda’.

    And then, ask the candidates, of both parties, to respond to it?

    I know there are differences between living in an urban city and rural life, but I honestly don’t think that the difference for Black folk and their problems is all that different whether in Chicago or rural North Carolina, is there?

    Then, couldn’t they come up with the Top 5-7 things that would be common to Black folk all around the country, and release that as the CBC Agenda?

    Does LaRaza wait for others to come to them, or do they set the tone? How about AIPAC – you pretty much know what they want.

    How can I Google ‘ Congressional Black Caucus’ & ‘ Black Agenda’ and come up with NOTHING for the top 10 that corresponds to anything official from the CBC?

    The closest I get is a web page advertising about their FRIGGIN’ WEEKEND?

    Why aren’t they doing that PRO-active stance, instead of waiting around for someone to tell them what they’re gonna do for them?

  17. rikyrah

    Shoot, I think it just ate my last comment.

    What I wanted to know is why the CBC doesn’t present its own 7-10 point ‘Urban Agenda’?

    Ok, I know that not all Black people live in Urban areas. But, I don’t think the Black condition and problems are all that different if you live in Chicago than if you live in Rural North Carolina. There are a series of issues that are common to wherever you live, and why can’t the CBC come together around those issues.

    Present that to the candidates of BOTH parties and ask them to respond – in writing.

    Does LaRaza sit around and wait for the candidates to decide what they’re doing to address? Or, do they already have a set number of issues that they want addressed? We know the answer to AIPAC?

    How is it that I can ‘ Google’

    Congressional Black Caucus & Black Agenda

    And the first five answers have no website with CBC in them, and in the top 10 responses the only CBC associated response is sending me to the webpage advertising their FRIGGIN’ WEEKEND?

    Why can’t the CBC be PRO-Active about this, especially in an election year time?

    After they received the responses from the specific candidates, they could honestly go to their constituents and tell them that they endorsed ‘ Candidate A’, because they were the one that closest brought to the table what would be best for the ‘ CBC Agenda’.

    Am I missing something? Is there a reason why the CBC is sitting around, waiting for someone to tell them ‘ an agenda’?

  18. “Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and if you cannot afford it, you should car pool, take the bus, ride a bike, moped, motorcycly, walk or some other form of more affordable transportation.”

    Well, I probably know that more than most folks. I lost all of my sight before I was able to learn how to drive. So, I’ve never had the benefit of jumping in a car and selfishly driving to any location.

    Here’s the thing… Even though I cannot drive, I still need to get where I’m going. I still have to put gas in somebody’s car to get there. And I don’t know if you know what I know… But most people don’t feel compelled to do anything for anyone without being compensated.

    Public transportation is cool. But Houston is not known for having a public transportation system to meet the needs of the entire city and those of us who live in the outer margins of the city. The public transportation program for disabled customers, which is ran by Harris County, will take me to TSU, but that car pooling program for disabled folks is $30 round trip. So, I much rather put gas in my sister’s car, and get to school without making a million stops along the way, picking up others.

    Yes, more people need to car pool. But maybe cities like Houston, should institute a better plan for those who drive and those of us who don’t drive. Because whether you drive or not, one still needs to get from point A to point B.

    And I still don’t think that Exxon should be filling their pockets at the expense of poor folks that are just trying to get to work.

  19. Uh… For some reason my post didn’t hit while ago. Well, here goes again.

    DM said, “Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and if you cannot afford it, you should car pool, take the bus, ride a bike, moped, motorcycly, walk or some other form of more affordable transportation.”

    I probably know that better than most people. I lost all of my sight before I was able to learn how to drive. So, I’ve never had the experience of being behind the wheel of a moving car. (One of my regrets.)

    Carpooling is what I do. But whenever I hop in the car with someone, you got to put gas in the tank if you want to get where you need to go. I dare not suggest that anyone take me anywhere for free just because I’m disabled. But know this… Nobody does anything for you for free. If I need to go somewhere, I got to front the money for gas.

    As for public transportation. I’m cool with that. One of the first things I learned when I started losing my sight was how to ride the bus. Public transportation is reality for me. But if the buses don’t come to your neighborhood, then what? (I live in Humble, a city just north of Houston. No buses.)

    Cities like Houston don’t have comprehensive public transportation programs for the city and people that live in the outer margins of the city.

    The public transportation program for disabled customers, which is ran by Harris County, charges $30 round trip to take me to TSU. I much rather put gas in my sisters car and get to school, without having to stop a million places along the way, picking up other customers.

    I believe that it is time for cities like Houston to invest in creating better public transportation programs for people that live in the city and surrounding areas. Pollution in Houston is terrible. Something needs to be done.

    I still don’t think that companies, such as Exxon, should be stuffing its pockets at the expense of poor folks that need to get to work.

  20. NMP

    Hey, rikyrah

    I hear so many people speak of the need for an urban agenda, but rarely hear concrete suggestions or even a clear definition of “urban”. I really respect your opinion on number of issues you’ve addressed on this site, so I’d sincerely like to know your definition and suggested agenda items. In fact, that’s an open call to everyone. I’m really curious to see if our presumed shared interests are as common as we think. In the meantime, let me share this with you…

    My son is part of college bound program for minority students in Northern Virginia. One requirement is parent participation in various workshops including financial planning. Our expectation was a workshop focused on college financing, but the bank representatives provided elementary information on the types of banking institutions and the pitfalls of check cashing centers and payday loans. We were all looking at each other with confusion and dismay. Seemingly in unison, we all spoke up and objected to such tedious and useless information…we were looking for detailed information on educational IRA’s, conventional student loans vs. second mortgages, aggressive investment for high short-term yield, etc. The response from the bank representatives was that the curriculum was designed to focus on financial issues prevalent in “urban” communities. We were highly offended, including some of the first generation immigrants in attendance! It was further evidence that the term “urban” has, in my opinion, become an overused metaphor for minority and poor and, again in my opinion, marginalizes African Americans and Latinos. Moreover, it belies the true socio-economic status of the majority of African Americans who are predominantly middle class now.

    P.S.: There’s a great article to today’s Politico (first of 2-day) about how minority consultants are overlooked by Democrats. A common complaint is that they are pigeon hold to African American work or issues.

  21. NMP

    Stoic,

    Let us all pray! I just don’t get the appeal, and I’m really befuddled
    (I like when I can use tht word🙂 )by her rise in popularity among self-described Liberals. Somebody, anybody, please explain to me how she and Bill have been able to convince folks that they are liberal when at best they are moderate Democrats? Don’t call me elitist, but I think it’s saying something that her base seems to be White women and the least educated.

  22. Yep, we’re stuck with this crap again. The Clintons are more like the old and extinct Rockefeller Republicans. In the past 25 years, the right wing crazies, that used to be called “John Birchers” totally took over the Republican Party and the moderate Republicans (DLC) took over the Democrats. It’s only a matter of time before the combination of these two groups leads to economic ruin and a mass popular uprising and overthrow of the established order. Think France, 1789.

    The only way to fight this is to push for 100 percent publically funded campaigns. Progress on this front has been rapid at the local and state level and now is the time for it to go national.

  23. Rick

    last night Dr. Cornel West spoke in Brooklyn on the topic, Education Matters: the Plight of African American males.

    All I can say is that I love Brother Cornel. He spoke about the need for blacks to love themselves and one another; the know and understand our history; and that we have to live up to the highest standards imaginable (because the eyes of our ancestors who have gone before us, like Malcom and Martin and Rosa Parks and so many others, are looking down on us from above). He said so many things, but the central theme was on love and the need for higher level of conciousness and awareness. He issued a call to action for all of us to be more involved in the lives of our black youth (e.g. mentorship programs).

    The room was of coursed packed, standing room only. I was happy that there were so many young people. Many lives were touched.

  24. Rick

    ps – I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the words of advice Dr. West had for Senator Obama. (It’s the same words of advice I have for him actually, as well as for all of us) That is:

    “Be yourself. And always always stay true to who you are.” – Dr West

  25. The former CFO of Texas Southern University was just sentenced 10 years in prison for mishandling funds. Slade, the former president of TSU, will be tried in the fall. They’re predicting that Wiggins sentencing sets the tone for what will happen to Slade, the former president of TSU.

    Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, is taking the steps to appoint a conservator over the university. Word on the streets is that University of Texas or University of Houston wants TSU; and Rick Perry is doing whatever it takes to hand it to them.

    There is a struggle in the community right now. Most want TSU to remain independent. But there are a few that think that the school should have to surrender to the state. What do you guys think?

    Here’s an article about today’s sentencing.

    Quintin Wiggins was TSU’s chief financial officer.

    A jury deliberated for about four hours over two days before sentencing Quintin Wiggins, who was convicted last week on one count of misapplication of fiduciary
    property with a value over $200,000.

    Wiggins, whose trial began April 10, had faced a sentence of anywhere from five years probation to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Prosecutors
    had asked jurors to sentence Wiggins to at least 30 years in prison while defense attorneys asked for probation.

    Prosecutors said Wiggins diverted $286,000 of TSU funds into hidden accounts that then-President Priscilla Slade used to buy furniture, landscaping and
    a high-tech security system for her home.

    The allegations against Wiggins, Slade and others coincided with a series of reports that revealed a pattern of financial mismanagement at the school and
    prompted Gov. Rick Perry to call for a state takeover of the historically black university.

    Wiggins’ attorneys said their client was sorry for his mistakes at TSU.

    “A proper punishment is not a stiff penalty,” said L. Mickele Daniels, one of Wiggins’ attorneys.

    Wiggins’ family and friends testified Monday, telling the jury, which did not include any blacks, he was a good person who has helped the community.

    But prosecutors said the damage and loss Texas Southern suffered because of Wiggins can’t be measured.

    “How do you quantify what this defendant did along with his partner in crime, Priscilla Slade?” prosecutor Donna Goode said.

    In all, Slade spent $87,000 on furniture, $138,000 on landscaping and $61,000 on a security system, prosecutors said. Slade, the school’s president for
    more than six years before she was fired in June, is set for trial in August on two charges of criminally misusing university money for private benefit.

    Prosecutors said the financial problems at TSU, including those caused by Wiggins and Slade, prompted one donor to pull back a $250,000 gift to the university.

    Prosecutors said Wiggins does not merit probation in part because of his criminal record, which includes two arrests for driving while intoxicated and one
    for impersonating a peace officer.

    Perry’s push for a takeover of TSU was put on hold after complaints by members of the Legislative Black Caucus that such action could jeopardize TSU’s accreditation.
    Perry agreed to work with them on a compromise plan. All nine of TSU’s regents resigned at Perry’s request.

    The campus in Houston has an enrollment of about 11,000 and is the alma mater of the late U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan and other notables. (www.KHOU.com)

  26. rikyrah

    Denise, thanks for the 4-1-1 on that post.

    Angie, I hear you on the gas thing. While driving may be a ‘privilege’, it’s still criminal that the oil companies can log record, yes, obscene profits, and crush the little guy.

    I have a gas card. I only use that card for my gas. Got the bill yesterday and my eyes nearly popped out of the sockets. I was stunned. Already my mind began going over the errands that I MUST do, and seeing when I can group as many of them together as possible in order to save trips. It’s offensive that they can get over like fat rats on the everyday person.

  27. rikyrah

    I have to ask…how does one get a jury in HOUSTON, and not have ANY BLACK FOLK ON IT?

    Makes me suspicious from the word go.

    I think folks should fight like hell to keep TSU away from Perry, who is a crook in the mold of Bush. …from what I read.

  28. rikyrah

    I really respect your opinion on number of issues you’ve addressed on this site, so I’d sincerely like to know your definition and suggested agenda items. In fact, that’s an open call to everyone. I’m really curious to see if our presumed shared interests are as common as we think. In the meantime, let me share this with you…

    Off the bat, it’s health.

    Bobby Scott, I believe, is the sponsor to getting universal health care for ALL children. What I want to know is WHY did I find this out on TOM JOYNER and NOT in a mailing from MY Congressman?

    WHY isn’t every member of the CBC going to every Black-oriented outlet and shouting from the rooftops that it’s time for our CHILDREN to be covered?

    YES, Black folk need access to Health Care. THAT much is a given. But, it’s not all about the doctors. It’s about US, and how we are literally KILLING OURSELVES through our diets and our lifestyle choices. This is a personal issue for me, because, I admit, a little more than 2 years ago, I was that person that I now criticize.

    But, we, as a community, must begin to address that a small part of small part of what happens to us is genetic. FAR MORE is within OUR CONTROL – i.e. diet and exercise. If Black folk weren’t obese, so many of the diseases in which we lead – wouldn’t be an issue. We’re killing ourselves and our children. We need to be involved wholesale with PREVENTION.

    AIDS
    1. Comprehensive education beginning in junior high for our students, and that includes condoms.
    2. A campaign directed at BLACK WOMEN. There are many creative Black Advertising minds – have them create a campaign. I already have the slogan – SISTER- SAVE YOURSELF
    3. Make it mandatory for states to get federal AIDS money, that they have to do HIV testing of inmates when they come in and when they’re about to be released. That’s how to get it done with state prisons. And, of course, have the same done on the federal level.
    4. I am no expert, but there are Black organizations that deal with AIDS…
    THAT ARE PRESENTLY UNDERFUNDED. WHY, when BLACK WOMEN are the face of AIDS, does most of the AIDS monies go to WHITE organizations?

    Well, that’s what I thought of with health right now.

  29. I also believe that decreasing the health disparities in the African American community should be on the top of the list of issues that we should be tackling. Illness is ravishing the African American family and it’s costing us time, money, life, and peace. Sadly, many of these diseases are preventable. I’m taking the liberty to post part of some information on African American health disparities that I presented at a health and wellness workshop just last week.

    The Impact of Health Disparities on the African American Community

    According to the 2000 U.S. Census, African Americans make up about 12.9% of the U.S. population, or 36.4 million individuals. Even though we comprise a relatively small percentage of the population, as a minority group African Americans often suffer a greater percentage of incidence of many of the leading health conditions in the United States. Why is this? One potential answer to that question is health disparities.

    The concept of health disparities is defined as differences in the occurrence, death rate, and burden of health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States.

    Some examples of health disparities include:

    1. Infant Mortality
    According to the Office of Minority Health, infant death rates among African Americans occur at a rate of 14.1% of deaths per live births. This is a rate of double that of White Americans.

    2. Heart Disease and Stroke
    According to a National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities report, African Americans have a 20% higher chance of dying from heart disease. In addition, African Americans have the highest rate of high blood pressure than any of the other groups.

    3. Diabetes
    According to the National Diabetes Education Program, over 2.2 million African Americans have diabetes, the prevalence of Type 1 Diabetes in African Americans accounts for 5-10 percent of all the newly diagnosed cases; however, the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in African Americans accounts for 90-95 percent of all the cases.

    4. HIV/AIDS
    According to the Centers for Disease Control, HIV infection which generally leads to
    AIDS is the leading cause of death for African American men between the ages of 25-44; and Black women are 18 times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than white women.

  30. rikyrah

    Good article at Politico.

    PS-Rudy’s gotten busted for donating to Planned Parenthood numerous times.

  31. Rick

    Angie-
    those statistics are startling. thanks for sounding the alarm on this health care crisis. keep raising awareness!!

  32. youngblackman

    This is not political, maybe the essay I sent you is, but were you at the main campus graduation? Did you see the band put down there instruments to party hop, did you see the numerous people grabbing the mic from the speaker to shout out their frats, family, and friends, did you see some dude grabbing the mic to sing, and the numerous frats and sororities that did not want to be outdone and party-hopped while others recieved their degrees.

    It was a complete embarrassment to educated blacks everwhere. I know the whites I graduated with looked in horor as we, once again, made ourselves look like niggas.

    Lucky Imus wasn’t there to see it. But if he was, I would have defended any comment he would have made. In private, most blacks said worse about these fools than any white racist could think of.

  33. Rick

    “YES, Black folk need access to Health Care. THAT much is a given. But, it’s not all about the doctors. It’s about US, and how we are literally KILLING OURSELVES through our diets and our lifestyle choices. This is a personal issue for me, because, I admit, a little more than 2 years ago, I was that person that I now criticize.” — rikyrah

    rikyrah, another struggle is getting the ones we love to eat better, exercise more, and go to the doctor for a checkup– even those of us who can AFFORD to go to the doctor and have adequate health coverage. Yes poverty can be an issue, but a separate issue, I think, involves a need for a change in MINDSET of people (self included) to take better care of their health.

  34. rikyrah

    rikyrah, another struggle is getting the ones we love to eat better, exercise more, and go to the doctor for a checkup– even those of us who can AFFORD to go to the doctor and have adequate health coverage. Yes poverty can be an issue, but a separate issue, I think, involves a need for a change in MINDSET of people (self included) to take better care of their health.

    I understand about affording to go to the doctor. I don’t know where you live, but I have to think that these groups are everywhere. There is a group here, and for $185, they will do a full and complete workup of you – blood, urine, stool, ekg, for women – the mammogram, for men – the PSA.

    I know money is tight, but it’s $185 where I live. That’s $15/month to get the 4-1-1 on the breakdown of your health. The outfit is called CardioMed where I live. It’s a beginning. So many people don’t know what they do and don’t have. The results of these tests could be a beginning for you. You would have in your hand what was wrong, and focus on trying to get help with regards to those issues.

    Also, the city routinely has free health screenings – that is another route to take. So you might have to stand in line – it’s FREE.

    We don’t seem to want to be ACTIVE in our physical health, and it terrifies me. When I started my path, I set out to read everything I could about the diseases that ‘ genetically’ could touch me IF I declined to make some persional choices.

    So much of the big diseases are related to DIET and EXERCISE.

    While I don’t discount genetics, you can fight and stave off genetics, if you take care of DIET and EXERCISE.

    We’re killing ourselves and our children.

  35. rikyrah

    Soapbox moment:

    For all my Brothas here, please go get your PSA. Black men are 6 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than their White counterparts. We would like for you to stick around. And, don’t wait for the year that that they say men should take it. Because of our diet, I cut all those ‘ norms’ by 7-10 years. You should be taking that PSA – NOW.

    PS- get a colonoscopy while you’re at it too.

    Just a concerned Sista here.😉

  36. Rick

    thanks for the love, rikyrah. we need more brothers and sisters spreading this message on the regular, even if we face or encounter “resistance”. it’s not the most popular message, but it’s so very important. thank you for saying it. and to my sistas, please take care of your health!

  37. youngblackman,

    At this point, it was all about blowing off some steam and creating a memorable and authentic “black moment.” As for the whitefolks and their perceptions about blackfolks, I’ll quote Ray Charles from the movie “They knew what it was before they got into it.” They don’t really care because most came to get that paper and nothin’ else. For us, we came for the experience-the paper is secondary. I’m proud of you brotha-very proud. Come through before Friday so I can give you your graduation gift. When you gonna marry that girl and make an honest sistah outta her?🙂

  38. rikyrah

    Not to be ‘startin’ sumthin’, but…
    Pretend that I’m in High School Civics.

    Explain to me HOW the Black community benefits from Illegal Immigration.

    Outside of the ‘Black/Brown Alliance’ dream thing…

    What things of substance does our community get from Illegal Immigration?

  39. NMP

    rikyrah et al,

    I’m glad to see that we all rank prevention as health care priority #1. Now how about all of us decrying McDonald’s–the new tabacco–as Black America’s new chief corporate sponsor. Is there any Black organization or group not taking money from them just as they did with the tabacco industry? Just because the pusher is dressed in a clown suit doesn’t mean he isn’t killing more poor Black folks, particularly our children, than crack, alcohol and tabacco.

  40. NMP

    “Not to be ’startin’ sumthin’, but…
    Pretend that I’m in High School Civics.

    Explain to me HOW the Black community benefits from Illegal Immigration.

    Outside of the ‘Black/Brown Alliance’ dream thing…

    What things of substance does our community get from Illegal Immigration?”

    I’m thinking…

  41. rikyrah

    About our infrastructure problem:
    1. It’s broken and we need to fix it.
    2. Fixing it does NOT include selling it off to the highest bidder. This is insane – what other country would remotely consider selling off its infrastructure to foreigners?
    3. It’s a legitimate need, so we can rebuild it, using workers that will be paid according to Davis-Bacon.
    4. If a company receiving a federal contract is found to be employing illegals, then they lose their contract, and won’t be able to bid for at least 3 years.

  42. rikyrah

    We get a little respite from being rednecks’ worse fears?

    Actually, that’s not the illegals….that’s the Arabs/Muslims, because they’ve shown that they’re willing to die while ‘taking them out’ too.

  43. dblhelix

    O’Malley — it’s been known for a while that he would endorse Clinton. Here is an interesting twist: on a radio program very recently, he would not rule out joining a ticket as VP for ’08. He’s been governor for about 5 minutes … a climber, very ambitious.

  44. NMP

    dblhelix,

    You actually think that Clinton would make the Kathleen Kennedy Townsend mistake? If she gets the nod, expect to have your first minority–Mexican–VP. Talk about big returns on a short-term investment. Latinos have less than a decade on the national stage and already WH bound. On the flip side, we’ve been waiting 400 years for our check to clear and will still be waiting.

  45. rikyrah

    If she gets the nod, expect to have your first minority–Mexican–VP. Talk about big returns on a short-term investment. Latinos have less than a decade on the national stage and already WH bound. On the flip side, we’ve been waiting 400 years for our check to clear and will still be waiting.

    See, I’m glad I’m not the only one who see this. I’m glad it’s not only in my thought process.

  46. NMP

    rikyrah,

    I can’t believe the number of Black folks supporting Clinton under the delusion that she’s going to pick Obama as her running mate, thinking it’s a win/win situatation. You would think that after 400 years of perpetual lies, we would be smarter than that. This election is bigger than Obama; it’s about maximizing whatever political power we have left before the window of opportunity shuts!

  47. dblhelix

    rikyrah: Pretend that I’m in High School Civics.

    Outside of the ‘Black/Brown Alliance’ dream thing…

    Let me restate my personal POV on the alliance dream thing. In our last election 30% of eligible Black voters in PGC-MD voted in the primary. This travesty is in one of the nation’s most affluent, most educated, majority-Black counties.

    Clearly, our politicians have no incentive to build alliances that are balanced. And they won’t. This is what you’re currently observing.

    What I envision is the political education and political maturation of Black voters to achieve high turnout levels. If you have that, then you are on your way to realizing agendas; raising the bar on candidates/challengers; making sure the deal is square, and most importantly for the long-term, creating an educated swing bloc that manages it’s own affairs in concert with fluid alliances for mutual benefit.

    I kept a list last year of folks who told me they couldn’t vote due to our ex-felon laws at the time. The law has recently changed. I’m back out in my spare time knocking on doors to inform of the changes.

    But more is needed than passing along voter reg forms. I like your “pretend I’m in high school civics class” — because at present, what is needed from the ground up is the equivalent of civics class in many communities. This can only come from independent effort b/c the politicians are more than happy to not hear from entire communties.

    What things of substance does our community get from Illegal Immigration?”

    It is not only white employers who hire illegal immigrants. Esp, around here. So, it depends on what you mean by community — are Blacks who build wealth using the same tactics as Whites included? Should there be a “Black tax” on these individuals to give something back to community, the majority of which is not in a position to make a profit on illegal labor?

  48. dblhelix

    rikyrah: You actually think that Clinton would make the Kathleen Kennedy Townsend mistake?

    Hell no, there’s no upside to putting a Marylander on the ticket that I can think of. Was just pointing out that O’Malley is “open for business.”

  49. rikyrah

    I can’t believe the number of Black folks supporting Clinton under the delusion that she’s going to pick Obama as her running mate, thinking it’s a win/win situatation. You would think that after 400 years of perpetual lies, we would be smarter than that. This election is bigger than Obama; it’s about maximizing whatever political power we have left before the window of opportunity shuts!

    Preach it. I, too, am stunned by folks who actually think she’s going to choose Obama as her running mate.

    Not.going.to.happen.

    Never ever.

    But, a great deal of the reason as to WHY I wanted him to run – THIS TIME, is because I don’t think, we could afford to wait until 2012 for a Black Candidate. For me, the time was now, because we needed to put it out there that it was possible, and that a Black candidate could run the table. This is why I take it, month by month for him, just hoping that he makes it until January 2008.

    I keep on telling folks…they…and the ‘ they’ includes Democrats and Republicans …are just itching to make all the illegals – LEGAL, so that they BOTH can throw us over. The GOP already has, and I tell you the Democrats will in 1.1 seconds after the GOP does. Anyone who doesn’t see that…I don’t get it.

  50. rikyrah

    Immigration:

    Those from Haiti get treated the same as the ones from Cuba – if they get here, they can stay here.

  51. rikyrah

    Our prison population
    1. Change those drug laws
    2. Re-enfranchise felons

    Isn’t this a no-brainer for the CBC?

  52. Rick

    re: Our prison population

    3. Prevention! We need to reach our black youth — particularly our boys — at an earlier age and stress the value of education. there are more brothers in jail than on college campuses…this is a national crisis.

  53. rikyrah

    re: Our prison population

    3. Prevention! We need to reach our black youth — particularly our boys — at an earlier age and stress the value of education. there are more brothers in jail than on college campuses…this is a national crisis.

    Saw today that they are FINALLY going to publish the REAL dropout rates for our schools. This is beyond crisis…it’s so desperate.

    I could go on for awhile about our community and schools, and how we’re dropping OUR END OF THE DEAL, to the detriment of our young boys and girls.

  54. yogo

    What about boarding schools here that would be accessible for inner city kids? Would that work in cities here? Changes their environment. I guess it’s similar to what Oprah’s doing with her school.

  55. rikyrah

    What things of substance does our community get from Illegal Immigration?”

    It is not only white employers who hire illegal immigrants. Esp, around here. So, it depends on what you mean by community — are Blacks who build wealth using the same tactics as Whites included? Should there be a “Black tax” on these individuals to give something back to community, the majority of which is not in a position to make a profit on illegal labor?

    I have no mercy. Drop a dime on them and get them raided.

  56. rikyrah

    What about boarding schools here that would be accessible for inner city kids? Would that work in cities here? Changes their environment. I guess it’s similar to what Oprah’s doing with her school.

    It’s exactly what Oprah is doing, and I understood completely why she designed the school the way she did, and what she’s proposing to do….and, so do her critics. They know she she’s trying to create.

    I think the boarding school idea is a good one.

  57. rikyrah

    sorry – they know what she’s trying to create, which is why they are critical of her.

  58. NMP

    rikyrah,

    2012 only if Clinton loses. If she wins, the earliest would be 2016 and he would facing Richardson as the VP incumbent and a Latino population that will have increased by at least another 5%. Moreover, by that time even ‘we are the world’ White Liberals will have grown uneasy about their decreasing majority status and become tribalistic for lack of a better term. We are well on our way to becoming a Balkanized nation with us the least empowered.

  59. NMP

    Yogo,

    I faintly recall a tv news or print profile of an urban boarding school for girls in the DC. If I’m not mistaken it’s funded primarily by some Silicon Valley billionaire (not Bill gates). I’ll do an archives search on WaPo and post it for you.

  60. NMP

    Our prison population
    1. Change those drug laws
    2. Re-enfranchise felons

    Isn’t this a no-brainer for the CBC?

    rikyrah,

    Yeah, it’s pretty sad when a White republican governor in FL is outpacing the CBC on the issue of re-enfranchising felons. Repealing drug sentencing laws is one of my ‘heart and soul’ issues. I consider it one of the biggest failures and betrayals of the Clinton administration. Just one of a laundry list of reasons why the love he enjoys from Black folks is just so mind-numbingly illogical. It’s one of the very reasons the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice coined him the Prison President. If you any of you want to put extra pennies to good use, donate it to the Sentencing Project.

  61. NMP

    rikyrah,

    My son’s kicking me off the computer, so I just want to throw this out there for discussion tomorrow. A Plan B for salvaging this election could be Gore entering the race. Obama may not be able to beat her, but he has tarnished her aura of invincibility. There’s no doubt in my mind that Gore can beat her, and he would definitely pick Obama as his VP, which would put him on track for the presidency in 2016. No one has seen much of him since the academy awards. Watch the waistline…if he’s lost weight, he’s running!

  62. I can’t believe the number of Black folks supporting Clinton under the delusion that she’s going to pick Obama as her running mate, thinking it’s a win/win situatation. You would think that after 400 years of perpetual lies, we would be smarter than that. This election is bigger than Obama; it’s about maximizing whatever political power we have left before the window of opportunity shuts!

    This is the line of argument that moves me the most. I cannot fathom how the Borg Queen could even fathom not choosing Obama now, choosing Richardson would not go over well for deep-seated cultural reasons for black folk. Not at all. We would abandon her in droves in the same way we would should she go with Senator Whitebread.

  63. rikyrah

    rikyrah,

    2012 only if Clinton loses. If she wins, the earliest would be 2016 and he would facing Richardson as the VP incumbent and a Latino population that will have increased by at least another 5%. Moreover, by that time even ‘we are the world’ White Liberals will have grown uneasy about their decreasing majority status and become tribalistic for lack of a better term. We are well on our way to becoming a Balkanized nation with us the least empowered.

    NMP,

    You and me are likethis on this issue. We see it the same way, and it only reinforces why I felt he had to run THIS time.

  64. Denise

    My short list of urban agenda items is as follows:

    Healthcare: Specifically, public hospital closures. Existing systems are critically overburdened. Ambulance transported my mother to the hospital ER recently; staff was stretched to the limit; ER are typically filled to capacity; patients can stray on a stretcher for as long as a week in the ER hallway before a room becomes available. Unbelievable!

    Eldercare/Child care: Many working families and single heads of households are sandwiched between the need to care for aging parents and children.Baby boomer population is growing as is the need for quality AFFORDABLE nursing care for aging baby boomers. Elder and daycare tax breaks.

    Affordable Housing: to address impact of gentrification displacement, alleviate homelessness

    Affordable/Alternative Energy: Heating and Electricity; no brainer.

    Criminal Justice: Sentencing disparities; HIV and AIDS/condoms in prison; productive re-entry

    Public Education: Mandated parental involvement that includes community service penalties for noncompliant parents/guardians

    Vocational Education: College is not the path for everyone. Military service should not be the only option for young minority adults. Public/private partnerships to provide guided entry into professions like plumbing, electrical, culinary, auto mechanic, computer tech, etc. Help can curb exploitations of illegal immigrant labor.

    Also, emphasis on financial literacy. This issue impacts more than just the poor; everyone can benefit.

    These issues immediately come to mind. Most are broad enough to encompass more than “minority” interests.

  65. Denise

    top three urban agenda items:

    stemming the tide of public hosptial closures; existing facilities are on the brink of collapse. the wait for a hospital room following an ER transport can be as long as one week. Pray you don’t get sick and have to see for yourself

    supporting vocational and non-college bound career paths: private/public partnerships to guide students into structured apprenticeships (plumbing, electrician, automechanic,culinary services, etc). Might curb the exploitation illegal immigrant labor and prepare a child for more than prison or the military.

    affordable urban housing: to stem gentrification driven displacement, homelessness. with emphasis being to keep children in and exposed to diverse and upwardly communities.

    I know there are more but these are issues that immediately come to mind.

  66. I absolutely agree with NMP about Gore. I thought by now he would have at least waved his hat at the race. I suspected that he would throw his hat completely in by July. Now, I’m not so sure.

    Gore has the advantage of already have been a VP. He can afford to enter this race late. Plus, I think that Gore is a stronger Gore. It’s been 8 years since the BUSH/Gore tragedy.

    If Gore ran, he would get the dem tic. He would beat Clinton without any problem. And I’m confident that he would pick Obama as a running mate.

    I believe that Gore and Obama is the formula for victory. Otherwise, I think that the GOP is going to take the oval office. Hil doesn’t have as much support as she thinks.

  67. Rick

    Separately, a hypothetical Richardson campaign in 2016 would NOT have to answer the question, “Are you Hispanic enough?” from the Latino population. In other words, it’s not just population size, but the fact they tend to stick together that matters too.

    I remember Richardson explaining during the debate that one reason he backed Gonzalez for so long, despite the turmoil, was because Gonzalez was a fellow hispanic. that was CRAZY, but later I was like wow, what if blacks, as a general principle, supported each other 1/2 that much? what if we pooled our resources and helped one another, supported one another…

    we’d have more economic and political clout than we have now I believe. Judging by black spending power alone, the potential is there. we just need the right leadership!

  68. rikyrah

    Yeah, it’s pretty sad when a White republican governor in FL is outpacing the CBC on the issue of re-enfranchising felons. Repealing drug sentencing laws is one of my ‘heart and soul’ issues. I consider it one of the biggest failures and betrayals of the Clinton administration. Just one of a laundry list of reasons why the love he enjoys from Black folks is just so mind-numbingly illogical. It’s one of the very reasons the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice coined him the Prison President. If you any of you want to put extra pennies to good use, donate it to the Sentencing Project.

    Count me among the confused. Clinton helped disenfranchise an entire generation of our brothers and sons, and we still smile at the man.

    Add into what he did to help spread HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa by bowing to Big Pharma…

    well, it might give you an idea as to why I say I’ll NEVER vote for her.

  69. rikyrah

    My son’s kicking me off the computer, so I just want to throw this out there for discussion tomorrow. A Plan B for salvaging this election could be Gore entering the race. Obama may not be able to beat her, but he has tarnished her aura of invincibility. There’s no doubt in my mind that Gore can beat her, and he would definitely pick Obama as his VP, which would put him on track for the presidency in 2016. No one has seen much of him since the academy awards. Watch the waistline…if he’s lost weight, he’s running!

    I, too, am hoping for Al to come back and redeem himself.

  70. rikyrah

    I believe that Gore and Obama is the formula for victory. Otherwise, I think that the GOP is going to take the oval office. Hil doesn’t have as much support as she thinks.

    I don’t think she does either. And, I keep on going back to those polls. Folks aren’t lying.

    over 50% of men – across ethnic groups – have already said they WILL NOT vote for her
    nearly 50% of women.

    Folks aren’t lying. They’re already telling you what they WON’T do.

    It’s surreal.

    And, Hillary is the ONLY thing that could motivate the GOP in 2008. Just being racist against Obama isn’t going to it the way that Hillary – the GOP Baiter – will.

  71. Cliff

    Angie keep it pushin, don’t give up like your girl Angie Stone said “God is got your back”, stay in school, roll with the punches, ride the waves, don’t bow down.

  72. rikyrah

    Rikyrah I love you for always having my back. Thank You.

    Cliff,

    right back at you. I have LOVED this thread today. I just loved the ideas bouncing off of everyone.

    Thanks, SB, for the chance to express ourselves.

  73. Whoa this thread blew up…

    Couple comments: the illegal immigrants are here for one reason only. Cheap labor. Who benefits the most from that? Not us.

    Publically funded campaigns would solve 90 percent of the problems mentioned above. Fixing the other 10 percent would require a complete ovethrow of capitalism.🙂

  74. Rick

    re: prison population, post 78

    rikyrah: don’t forget all the money that states (and other entities) make in incarcerating blacks. during the lecture i went to on monday (“education matters”), it was mentioned that the prison industry is HUGE and quite profitable. Folks are making making money off us not just by projecting the black exploitation genre in the media, but making paper when our youth get arrested & incarcerated.

  75. Denise

    here are my top three urban agenda items. Each is at critical mass:

    a. public hospital closures: this is at crisis level. hospitals that remain open are stretched to capacity. ER’s can have people waiting for a week IN THE ER for a room. Most urban centers can’t afford to have any more public hospitals shut down. This impacts everyone.

    b. eldercare issues: many families have the dual responsibility to care for children AND aging parents. Baby boomer population is growing, as is the need for relief for those sandwiched between young and elderly. Tax relief or credit for eldercare, caregiver assistance. This impacts everyone

    c. Non college counseling: many young people don’t want to go to college right away. some need to bring some real world experience to the classroom. More aggressive public/private partnerships to guide non college bound and drop outs into structured professions – plumbing, electrical, culinary, construction. auto, etc. Could also alleviate some of the exploitation of illegal immigrants in these industries.

    That’s it for not. It’s not exhaustive, but they reflect crisis areas that I, at least, don’t hear or read must about.

  76. Rick

    Denise, my sista I got your back on all three items, but especially “eldercare issues.” i don’t have kids but know what it’s like to help look after aging parents/grandparents, while at the same time trying to take care of myself and hold down a job. all the people out there also raising children through this have my complete and undivided respect and admiration. you are absolutely right that this issue doesn’t hardly receive any attention in America (despite America’s increasingly aging population). it’s like our country has it’s head in the sand and wants to wish the problem away…

    thank you for saying it!

  77. Denise, I’m right there with you. Elder care is very important to me. My mother had a massive stroke at age 52. She was left physically and mentally impaired. As long as my mother lives (and I hope forever), I will have to provide care for her.

    What I am seeing is that more and more African Americans are not prepared for elder care issues. For one, many African Americans do not have retirement plans in place. We often do not have savings or property to fall back on.

    The truth is that most of America will be burdened by elder care issues as the baby boomer population ages. But African Americans are really going to catch it, mainly because we are not prepared. Our parents are not prepared, and the children of these aging parents are not preparing to have to deal with this approaching reality. Since we know that this is going to be an issue, we should be saving as much money for our parents. It may not be fair. But it is what it is. If we don’t look out for our parents, no one will.

    After my mother’s second stroke, it looked like we were going to have to put her in a LTAC (long term care facility). Well, I toured a few. The only ones I would even consider putting her in were $3K a month. All of the other ones were crappy, dirty, and had ignorant staff. And they wanted to charge her insurance and still keep my mother’s retirement check. (Know and understand that health care cost are EXPENSIVE.)

    I’m so glad that God restored my mother and she was able to get strong enough to come back home with me. I’m right now trying to prepare myself for whatever the future may hold for both of my parents. It’s reality… A painful reality… A reality that we must certainly deal with…

  78. rikyrah: I think you are right. The GOP is going to pull out all the guns if Hil gets the dem tic. Those white men are not going to stand by and let a woman be their president. (Yes, I know it’s ridiculous… But that’s the world we live in.)

    I talked to a college educated black brother the other day. This brother that’s been in the financial industry for years actually opened up his mouth and said that if Hil becomes president, he is moving to Canada.

    I was a bit outraged that he felt that strongly about not wanting a woman to be the president. But he is not alone. If this college educated brother said that, you know what the white boys in the trailers are saying. Hmmm… Forget the trailers… You know what other men around the country in the trailers and mansions are saying…

    Gore should run. If he did, I would get behind him. He would be a winning ticket. All these other folks (HC and BO) boats will eventually sink. I believe that the GOP isn’t as weak in terms of support as we would like to think. But Gore, this stronger Gore, would be able to face off and garnish the kind of support that is needed to overthrow the very idea that the republican party will win.

    Cliff: Thanks so much for your kind words. I needed that bit of encouragement this morning. (smile)

    Denise: The occupational training and development program is critically important. I’m going to address that a little later today.

    You good people have a great day!

  79. NMP

    Have any of you submitted questions to Tavis Smiley via BAW for his June presidential debate? If you have or haven’t, let me hear some. SB can fine tune them for submission.

  80. NMP

    Angie,

    The brotha may be a little hardened because, let’s face it, White women are their stiffest competition. I’m sure there isn’t an educated, professional brotha out there that doesn’t have a story about a White woman with less experience and education leap frogging them for positions, promotions and pay. WaPo had a great month long series about “What it means to be a Black man” that addressed the issue head on. One brotha talked about being passed over for a promotion by a White woman that he trained! It was the reason he started his own business. Nontheless, he had to hire a White woman as his VP of sales because White men typically will not trust him or his partners with their business. It incenses me to hear White women, like Hillary, compare her struggles to ours. THEY WILL NEVER KNOW OUR STRUGGLES. As Chris Rock joked about the false comparisons between the suffering of White women (Hillary) and Black men (Obama), “they burned their bras, but Black men were burned alive…when White women caught the bus to their feminists rallies who do you think had to give up their seats for them?” I’m sorry, but I just can’t take the condescension of Hillary talkin’ about cleaning up after folks to an audience of Black folks. Hell, when her mother only had a husband and kids to clean up after, my grandmother had to spend her days cleaning White folks houses and babysittin’ their kids before headin’ home to clean up after and take care of her own husband and kids. It’s bad enough that they’ve co-opted our civil rights gains–White women have benefitted more from affirmative action than Black men and women combined–but we should not allow her to co-opt our struggles as Black women to win this election by convincing us that, as a woman, she has more of a kinship with us than Barack Obama.

  81. NMP,

    One of my first work experiences was in college when my grandmama got me a job at the VA Hospital where she worked. At that point, my grandmama had over 35 years service as a nurse in the facility and was one of the most senior black nurses in the VA system. One of my white co-workers slipped and told me what she was making after 10 years of service and it was as almost as much as what grandmama was making.

    I smiled politely and told my grandmama, she took it in stride. I almost lost my damn mind. My co-workers were always so profuse in their praise of my grandmama. To them, she was some kind of one-dimensional mammy full of sweetness and good cheer. The reality is that she was a professional who deserved to be treated with respect and paid commensurately to the praise they disengenuously lavished on her.

    I never forgot her serenity. If there was any doubt that my grandmama was saved and sanctified by the holy spirit, it disappeared after I experienced working with the bitches who smiled in her face and stabbed her in her back. One guaranteed way to make me feel homicidal is to mess with my grandmama.

  82. Rick

    “White women are their stiffest competition.”

    in my industry, these days I’m worried just a tad bit more about the Chinese/Indian population coming over at age 9 and getting advanced degrees — sometimes multiple advanced degrees — from MIT and Harvard with specializations in financial modeling and quantitative economics. having been in the industry for 14 years, I’ve observed the (slowly) changing composition of the workforce from the internship level to the professional ranks, but there is no mistaking this trend. hiring is not the only issue either. in a few years, there be no reason why a typical “credit analyst” assignment can’t be outsourced to an analyst in India or in China, at a fraction of the costs to Wall Street firms here. this is already happening (and affecting more than black males by the way). Part of the reason some folks are saying “let’s take a look at this free trade thing” now is because “white collar jobs” are under GLOBAL competition, and not just black auto workers in Detroit. when it was just the latter group being affected, everything was just fine.

    anyway, all this is to say that the global competitive forces we are (all) under is just another reason to stress the importance of education to our youth so that they compete in the global workforce. This aspect is not being stressed nearly enough!

    by the way – as a college educated black male, I have no problem with a woman president – white, black or whatever – if she was qualified and the best candidate. Some of that mess is overblown…

  83. rikyrah

    Separately, a hypothetical Richardson campaign in 2016 would NOT have to answer the question, “Are you Hispanic enough?” from the Latino population. In other words, it’s not just population size, but the fact they tend to stick together that matters too.

    I remember Richardson explaining during the debate that one reason he backed Gonzalez for so long, despite the turmoil, was because Gonzalez was a fellow hispanic. that was CRAZY, but later I was like wow, what if blacks, as a general principle, supported each other 1/2 that much? what if we pooled our resources and helped one another, supported one another…

    Tell me about it. All the ‘talking heads’ were going on and on about how Richardson blew it. For me, who thinks he’s a total weasel, it was the most honest thing I ever heard the man say, and I was like, ‘ damn skippy’.

    You are right. Even with his blonde wife, they would NEVER pull that ‘ is he Hispanic enough’ mess.

    And, if we did support one another half as much, I know several things for sure: there would have been another Black Mayor in Chicago, New York, and we’d have TWO US Senators -the other one would be from Maryland.

    With regards to Richardson and in terms of Obama, you and I both know some folks that hold against him his vote FOR Condi.

    Hmmmmmm


    we’d have more economic and political clout than we have now I believe. Judging by black spending power alone, the potential is there. we just need the right leadership!

    If we had a Black Economic Donating Class with respective to our numbers…..we’d get AIPAC respect.

  84. rikyrah

    b. eldercare issues: many families have the dual responsibility to care for children AND aging parents. Baby boomer population is growing, as is the need for relief for those sandwiched between young and elderly. Tax relief or credit for eldercare, caregiver assistance. This impacts everyone

    Denise, I feel you on the elder care issue. I knock wood that Mama is capable of being independent, even though my sister or I check on her everyday.

    On the other hand, I have an Aunt that needs 24/7 home health care. Fortunately for my Aunt, her late husband was ahead of his time with respect to Blacks and financial planning. If her husband hadn’t of taken care of business, sad to say, I believe my Aunt would be dead. I believe the only thing keeping her alive is that she is able to stay in HER home.

    This is serious, and then, I read that piece in the NYTimes about how so many of those insurance companies are totally scamming people with Long Term Health Insurance and NOT PAYING, and I became livid.

    So, yes, I understand your point exactly.

  85. rikyrah

    Have any of you submitted questions to Tavis Smiley via BAW for his June presidential debate? If you have or haven’t, let me hear some. SB can fine tune them for submission.

    Where can we – at his website? Does he have a specific website for the debate?

    I’ll have to think about ones for the Democrats.

    I definitely know which ones I’m submitting for the GOP one.

  86. rikyrah

    With reference to Post # 98, the Senator from Maryland is MFUME, not Steele.

    Black folk have nobody to blame but THEMSELVES about Mfume not being a Senator.

  87. NMP

    SB,

    You got me in tears at work, man. It’s amazing that no matter how geographically and culturally divided we are, Black folks share the same experience. My grandma was a domestic for over 30 years, the last 20 years of her “career” was spent as a housekeeper at the Hotel Washington here in DC. Just like you, she helped me get a job one summer at the front desk. My grandmother is one of the most beautiful women in the world, inside and out. It never dawned on me that she was treated with any less respect by the “outside” world than she was by family and friends, but I learned painfully different after just one day at that hotel. It took my great love of my grandmother not to get straight ghetto in that MF and curse all those White folks out! I had to endure listening to young, White girls who worked in the administrative office talk to my grandmother and the other housekeepers, all Black, like they were children; throw sh*t on the floor for her to pick up; and call her by her first name. I knew how much trouble she went through to get me the job, so I managed to tough it out for the summer. In the end, she told me she knew how hard the experience was for me, but she wanted me to see first hand why it was so important for me to finish college. I know it sounds all soap opera, but ALL true. It was the most valuable job I ever had for obvious reasons.

  88. NMP

    rikyrah,

    Even if Black folks had voted in unprecedented numbers during the MD primary, do you think that would have been enough to overcome the weight that the State and Nat’l Party put behind Cardin?

    Also, what impact do you think the high number of African Americans registered as Independent who could not vote in the primary had?

  89. NMP

    “Tell me about it. All the ‘talking heads’ were going on and on about how Richardson blew it. For me, who thinks he’s a total weasel, it was the most honest thing I ever heard the man say, and I was like, ‘ damn skippy’. ”

    rikyrah,

    Only the conservative ‘talking heads’ said he blew it. The consensus among liberals was that it was refreshingly honest. One White female guest on one of the MSNBC shows called it “sweet”. My foot almost went through the tv. They know damn well if Obama expressed similar support for Condi–in the face of astounding imcompetency and possible illegality–every editorial page in the country would have been calling for him to end his candidacy.

  90. Rick

    ” read that piece in the NYTimes about how so many of those insurance companies are totally scamming people with Long Term Health Insurance and NOT PAYING, and I became livid.”

    rikyrah: that NYT article your referred to was a real wake up call for me that before someone goes out and buys long-term care insurance, they really need to do their due diligence on the company (before paying premiums) to see if that company has a history of reneging on claims. (and the need to read the fine print). i also plan to visit a fee-only financial advisor to hopefully get a referral to help navigate through the process. you’re aunt’s late husband was definitely on point when it came to the financial planning. planning is soo important.

    “And, if we did support one another half as much…we’d have TWO US Senators -the other one would be from Maryland.”

    rikyrah: how is it that we have 1/2 as many Black senators in 2007 than we did in 1870? I know the answers are complex and I defer to folks like you and dblhelix who know more about how voting districts get redrawn at whim…but @#!@!, that statistic right there really bothers me! that’s just crazy!

  91. NMP

    Rick,

    I feel you on the globalization issue. It’s not just getting an education, but the quality of education. Bill Gates contends that education provided at some of the “best” schools K-12 schools in the country, are still not good enough to compete against the quality of education in India and China. He has sent a dire warning that if things don’t change dramatically that companies like his will have no other choice but to outsource or move their companies abroad. Although I have great sympathy for the plight of Mexican and other Latino immigrants, we have to face the question of what happens to the braintrust of the US if our fastest growing population is thirld word poor and illiterate. How the hell do we compete?

    P.S.: I should say that I NORMALLY have great sympathy for the plight of Mexican and other Latino immigrants. However, today, I’m in a very anti-Hispanic immigrant mood. My upscale (meaning expensive as hell) neighborhood grocery store and brand new world class ice skating center (official practice facility of the Washington Capitals) was graffiti spray painted overnight. I pay a HELL OF LOT for my standard of living, and I WAS a big advocate of mixed-income communities because I think low income housing or projects breed low level bavior, but I’m starting to have STRONG second thoughts. It was ok that they were allowed to enjoy luxury living at tax payer expense, but in return all that was asked is that they respect the community!

  92. NMP

    Rick,

    US Senate races are state-wide elections, so they aren’t affected by gerrymandering. It’s a confluence of the failure of the Democratic Party to finance and support Black candidates, lack of community mobilization, most importantly White folks’ unwillingness/discomfort voting for Black candidates.

  93. NMP

    Oh, and I highly recommend the biography on Blanche K Bruce, “The Senator and the Socialite: The True Story of America’s First Black Dynasty” by Otis Graham.

  94. rikyrah

    rikyrah,

    Even if Black folks had voted in unprecedented numbers during the MD primary, do you think that would have been enough to overcome the weight that the State and Nat’l Party put behind Cardin?

    I don’t know about the independent voter thing, but I do know, that, with absolutely NO budget, Mfume lost by like 12,000 votes.

    12,000 in a state the size of Maryland, where Black folk make up one out of every four votes?

    I’m sorry, but for me, this is a case where Black folk let one another down. What made me go WTF was them NOT supporting Mfume, and then whining about the lack of Black representation on the statewide level, then mumbling/whining and the nerve of some of those clowns supporting Steele.

    Maryland is home to the wealthiest Black majority county in the country, and I know how many other Black professionals reside outside of PG County, Northern VA and DC. The amount of money Mfume was NOT able to raise from that group is criminal.

  95. NMP

    rikyrah,

    You get no argument from me. But, I just can’t help but think that if Black folks TRULY knew what he was up against that they would have ponied up the money. I live in VA, but most of my immediate family still lives in PG, and they sincerely believed that Mfume had the election on lock.

  96. NMP

    If you all haven’t noticed, I’m not working much today. I’m supposed to be working on a proposal, but I have writer’s block. I hope the juices get to flowing by Friday. In the meantime, I’m covering the news. I see that Al Sharpton has given Mitt Romney an opportunity to finally publically address the Mormanism “issue”–from a victim’s perspective no less.🙂

  97. Denise

    The world is full of people who use whatever weapon is available to them – race, skin tone, bullshit notions of “class”, geography, family name, etc. – to keep you from getting something first or to place you in subservience to them because THEY need to feel you are. So, make no mistake, that ain’t just a white thang.

    That is the best life lesson I ever got. Because now my eyes are open to EVERYBODY’S shit, especially when power and other resources are on the line.

    Someone correctly mentioned in another blog discussion that the crab in a barrel syndrome is complex in that it works both ways. We acknowledge the existence of crabs that pull others back in the barrel. They do exist. However, if you look closely, you’ll notice that others are struggling to push others back down. You have to watch out for them, too.

    Every white person ain’t my enemy and every black person ain’t kin. Life has taught me to judge folk based on how well they respect me.

  98. rikyrah

    rikyrah,

    Only the conservative ‘talking heads’ said he blew it. The consensus among liberals was that it was refreshingly honest. One White female guest on one of the MSNBC shows called it “sweet”. My foot almost went through the tv. They know damn well if Obama expressed similar support for Condi–in the face of astounding imcompetency and possible illegality–every editorial page in the country would have been calling for him to end his candidacy.

    Oh, no doubt…which points out what we already know: there are two sets of rules, and the ones that apply to us are patently unfair.

  99. rikyrah

    If you all haven’t noticed, I’m not working much today. I’m supposed to be working on a proposal, but I have writer’s block. I hope the juices get to flowing by Friday. In the meantime, I’m covering the news. I see that Al Sharpton has given Mitt Romney an opportunity to finally publically address the Mormanism “issue”–from a victim’s perspective no less

    I’m not voting for the man, regardless, but I thought it was quite ridiculous of him to go to Pat Robertson’s university, and NOT make the big ‘ Mormon’ speech that he needs to address.

    Folks are being honest about this too – 24%, nearly ONE FOURTH of our fellow citizens say, no way in hell for a Mormon.

    Um, does he imagine that all of these folks are Democrats, and thus doesn’t have to worry about them?

    Yeah, sure.

    I do find it bizarre that Sharpton, of all people, is confronting this directly. Why not some of his evangelical buddies that he’s been kissing ass for the past year?

  100. dblhelix

    NMP: Also, what impact do you think the high number of African Americans registered as Independent who could not vote in the primary had?

    We can switch party affiliation very easily up until about 90 days before the election. You just send in a new voter app by mail. In fact, I re-registered two Republican brothas in my neighborhood just for the primary. They voted Mfume, then Steele in the general. It helps if you bring the form to someone’s door, and then stick it in your folder to send to the state with all the others, but some folks don’t like giving you their forms (they don’t realize that we already know all the personal data from the voter network, which is collected public information). They also don’t know that we know if they turned in the paperwork after system updates. At one point, I was just sticking my own stamps on forms to give to people, esp close to the deadline.

    Of course, this assume that a campaign has the resources to target likely Unaffiliated/Republican voters. Mfume’s primary campaign office was in Baltimore. The campaign opened a field office for PG in Mt Ranier late in the game (July, as I recall). Also, the “campaign office” was really just a few chairs in the back of somebody else’s office staffed by two people (one a volunteer) part-time. The campaign was so short-handed that the PG field director spent almost all of his time accompanying the candidate to events around MD. There was little to no fieldwork. Due to the loose structure, I spent my time independently doing fieldwork in PG although I was often pressured to do the events tour (“showing enthusiasm”). I always responded that there was a problem with awareness of the election in PG, so my time was better spent stamping around. The only concerted fieldwork that I recall came right before the primary — a 2-day or so effort by PDA (Progressive Democrats of America) who sent foot soldiers from out-of-state knocking on doors primarily in Montgomery.

    I think if they’d realized that PG was actually Mfume’s strongest base (rather than Baltimore City), perhaps more effort would have been expended within the county.

  101. Rick

    NMP-

    thanks for the book reference! i realize I didn’t explain myself at all when i made reference to gerrymandering as a possible reason why there are fewer Senators. Is it true that many senators serve in the House before they become senators? And if we have fewer opportunities to represent local jurisdictions — because others get to draw lines wherever they want — doesn’t that also limit prospects for further advancement? (this could be a stretch but work with me…oh never mind lol i like your explainations better)

    on education, that’s a toughie because the Bill Gates of the world are saying there is a shortage of U.S.-born engineers and so they need to import foreign workers to satisfy labor force demands. Obama in his book “Audacity of Hope” mentioned that in his talks with Silicon Valley execs, these folks expressed a strong desire to hire more blacks but found that there was a severe shortage of us studying in the engineering field. is the answer to emphasize more technical skills in our classroom, and subjects like math and science at an early age? that may be one, of many, potential long-term strategies. (although I admit, math was never my favorite subject!!!)

  102. NMP

    “Someone correctly mentioned in another blog discussion that the crab in a barrel syndrome is complex in that it works both ways. We acknowledge the existence of crabs that pull others back in the barrel. They do exist. However, if you look closely, you’ll notice that others are struggling to push others back down. You have to watch out for them, too.

    Every white person ain’t my enemy and every black person ain’t kin. Life has taught me to judge folk based on how well they respect me.”

    Denise, I hear you! I love my people, I really do, but sometimes…! I don’t have the nerve of my mother who will call out a negro for treating her with less respect than they do White folks, especially in retail establishments. I work for a 300+ person organization with less than 10% African American. Girl, they haven’t invented a thermometer that can measure the level of cold shoulder I got from my “own” when I arrived. I don’t know if it’s a self-hatred or competition for status of top negro.

  103. dblhelix

    Even if Black folks had voted in unprecedented numbers during the MD primary, do you think that would have been enough to overcome the weight

    Forget MD, let’s look at PG.

    101068 ballots cast
    370592 registered voters

    Turnout overall: 31.32% Hmm, given that PG is about a third white, I may have been too generous with my 30% estimate of Black turnout.

    The 12K votes could have been easily managed in PG alone, without even going to Baltimore City, where Jill Carter and others were campaigning against Mfume.

    About a month before the primary, the campaign held a Countdown/Kickoff event in PG. The hero of the night was George Leventhal, a white Jewish county council member from Montgomery Cty who, as Mfume put it, “stood up for me when it was stil dangerous!” That’s right. There were very few PG notables who were heralded (or present) — nobody stands out except for state senator Gloria Lawlah, a few others.

  104. rikyrah

    Read what Sharpton said, and I was LOL

    Oh Al.

    But, he’s only saying publicly what 24% of the electorate think.

    ABC.com, in their piece on Romney going to Robertson’s school, shed a little light on one of Robertson’s websites. This wasn’t a you click here, then there, then here, and get the info.

    It was a you click here situation – it was dogging Mormonism from every side.

    Those folks don’t trust Mormons.

    I don’t trust MITT. Him being Mormon is secondary. I have five other reasons that I could count before anything regarding Mormonism would come up.

  105. This agent came to my house earlier this year to talk to us about getting long term care insurance for my mother. I was shocked by all the loopholes in the different policies.

    One policy said that they would pay for 20 days straight. But if my mother needed to stay in the facility for more than 20 days, it would be a hundred dollar a day deductible. Then another policy said that we would have to pay a $2500 deductible before the policy would start to pay. And then the third policy he showed us said that they would pay for long term care, like a skilled nursing facility/nursing home. But the insurance wouldn’t cover a long term acute care facility. These types of facilities are able to deal with patients that are on vents, feeding tubes, and so on. These types of facilities often have a doctor on staff 24 hours a day.

    My question was what if my mother needed an ltac instead of a snf. Well, at the end of the day, we would be stuck out. The insurance is okay if you get kind of sick. But if you get real sick, you gon’ be stuck out.

    Sadly, the long term care insurance company decided to not underwrite my mother’s policy. Her hypertension, diabetes, and stroke history made her ineligible.

    When my mother got sick, I quit my job to take care of her. If I wasn’t available to provide care for her, I know my mother would be dead.

    FYI… Another reason to have savings in place… If you become disabled and/or unable to work due to injury or illness, make sure you have enough money to maintain your health care premiums for at least 2 years. Once you’re declared disabled/unable to work for at least 12 months, Medicare is not granted for 24 months. The only exception is if the patient has end stage renal failure. If the patient makes more than $625, they are not eligible for Medicaid. So, there’s at least a two year window that a patient that needs health care can be without health care coverage. Sad!

    I guess the real solution to many of these health care issues is to do whatever it takes to prevent illness. Sadly, many of the illnesses that effect African Americans are preventable.

    I’m considering starting a health and wellness blog for our people. Keep me in your prayers. I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work. But I believe that if I can save lives, it’s worth the hard work.

    Once I’ll get the blog up and moving, I’ll let you guys know.

  106. dblhelix

    but most of my immediate family still lives in PG, and they sincerely believed that Mfume had the election on lock.

    You want to know why? Here is what was going on — I know this from personal experience. Recall that we had our state house and county council elections. Candidates would call me to see if I had any spare Mfume lit for them to pass around w/ their stuff.

    But.

    What they were doing was bundling Mfume lit in mostly-Black neighborhoods, but going w/ Cardin stuff otherwise. On primary day, I saw a number of candidates in northern PG distributing two different slate tickets — one w/ Mfume at the top, one w/ Cardin. Not everyone, of course, but it there were definitely ppl who played it both ways. But if you lived in a mostly Black area, you’d think that everyone was on board w/ Mfume.

  107. dblhelix

    NMP: I work for a 300+ person organization with less than 10% African American.

    Are there all kinds of activities you are pressured into to show that the org has some color?

    I went to a state school, ugrad/grad, in a field “critically underrepresented by minorities.” I found that my attendance was requested far too often at external departmental performance reviews, etc. It was like an additional part-time job.

  108. dblhelix

    Angie: I’m considering starting a health and wellness blog for our people. Keep me in your prayers. I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work. But I believe that if I can save lives, it’s worth the hard work.

    Once I’ll get the blog up and moving, I’ll let you guys know.

    Looking forward to it.

  109. NMP

    Rick,

    I think Gates is addressing curriculum and the taboo subject of teacher quality. I personally think we need to start de-emphasizing the liberal element of education. My minor English has served me well when I put on my pseudo-intellectual pose at social gatherings when discussing Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, which I never finished and neither have the 99% of people who claim to have, but it’s useless in the real world. My son was an early reader and loves to read things–he’s interested in–but I have to literally threaten punishment to get him to complete his required reading. Luckily, he’s really good in math and science, which will serve him very well in the real world. Liberal arts may make get you dinner invitations, but not an asset in the global market. As to the taboo subject of teacher quality, did you know that the DC spends more per student than any other school district in the country, but still has the very worse schools in the country. The typical reaction from our community and Black pols is to complain about the lack of resources, but no one wants to address the poor quality of teachers. FAR TOO MANY of Black teachers who are concentrated in Black school districts have only education degrees rather than specialized degrees. In Northern Virginia, the majority of teachers have specialized degrees, even at the elementary level. When my son entered elementary school, there were NO Black classroom teachers (only gym and special ed). They finally hired its first when he was in 5th grade. She had only an education degree. She lasted a year before quitting and taking a position in P.G. County. I kid you not! I know that TRIM is often cited as the reason for the poor performance of PG County schools, but that’s a cop out. That can NOT be the prevailing reason that the largest Black middle class community in the country with comparable or exceeding household incomes of its closest neighbor, Montgomery Co., should have such wide-spread underperforming schools. Being a product of the P.G. County school system, I can personally attest that the quality of teachers is a taboo subject who’s time for discussion is decades overdue

  110. NMP

    “Are there all kinds of activities you are pressured into to show that the org has some color?”

    dblhelix,

    ALL THE TIME!!! We’re a non-profit agency, and I work primarily on business engagements, so I’m particularly useful because corporations are reluctant to fund organizations that have “insufficient” minority representation, especially if they themselves have faced racial discriminiation charges or lawsuits as one of the companies I’m working with now has, majorly.

  111. Rick

    “There’s a storm out
    on life’s ocean
    and its moving
    this-a-way” — old church song

    OT: the official start of hurricane season is almost a month away, but the remmants of the first named tropical storm, Andrea, could possibly enter the Gulf of Mexico and affect New Orleans. with so many national guards and equipment overseas, i can’t see how the U.S. would be prepared for an active hurricane season if we had one.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070509/us_nm/storm_andrea_dc_2

  112. dblhelix

    rikyrah: then mumbling/whining and the nerve of some of those clowns supporting Steele.

    Pathetic power grab, and the arrogance of thinking that it wouldn’t be recognized as such.

    Damn, one of the funniest things on election day was the pictures of Steele waiting in line to vote while other voters around him ignored his ass and looked the other way in shame. Can’t find any online, but this description from a paper is good for a laugh:


    Standing in line to vote with his wife, the pair wearing matching blue Under Armour windbreakers, Steele was surrounded by folks who clearly had no desire to vote for him. They made snide comments behind his back. “They’re just trying to trick us, but we know better,” exclaimed one elderly woman. She went on to explain that Steele’s great “trick” was not cutting to the front, but instead choosing to stand in line
    like everyone else.

    For 45 minutes, Steele was waiting in line, listening to the jibes, biting his tongue, and smiling bravely.

  113. Rick

    “I’m considering starting a health and wellness blog for our people. Keep me in your prayers. I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work. But I believe that if I can save lives, it’s worth the hard work.

    Once I’ll get the blog up and moving, I’ll let you guys know.”

    Angie –

    Thank you so much for suggesting this. I think it’s a great idea! Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers!

  114. Rick

    NMP: I agree alot with what you said in post 126.

    the only thing I’d add is one’s solid command of the english language – and the ability to express ideas effectively – will never ever be useless. (anyone who has been frustrated when transferred to an overseas call center for customer service may relate to this point). after they build their fancy models, the “quants” often have to come to us “liberal arts” finance-crossover folks to explain the darn thing, both in written and oral presentations. Mastery of english won’t go out of style — well, not until the Middle Kingdom (China) rises again in a couple of decades to challenge all that.

  115. NMP

    Rick,

    As one of my “liberal arts” finance-crossover folk informs me, English is the global monetary language, so you’ll be just fine. Everybody, have a good night! Maybe early to bed will get the brain juices flowin’ tomorrow.

  116. rikyrah

    dblhelix,

    you are so naughty. that picture was hilarious🙂

    Angie,
    Once you get the blog going, please tell us, because it’s something we need to know.

    I think Gates is addressing curriculum and the taboo subject of teacher quality. I personally think we need to start de-emphasizing the liberal element of education.

    I know this is a radical idea, but I honestly believe that it’s time for us to pay according to the subject need. The future is in science and technology, therefore, I would like for us to pay science, math, computer teachers – who would have to pass some sort of serious certification in order to merit their salaries – more than other teachers.

    We simply don’t have enough of these teachers in the ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LEVEL.

    The Chinese and Indians don’t wait until high school to begin teaching science, math and technology.

    I know it’s going to burn up other teachers, but this is a desperate situation. If I did have a degree in Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, explain to me why I’d remotely think about becoming a ‘teacher’? The salaries would have to be competitive for us to be able to get those folks.

  117. Denise

    Re: urban agenda.

    You’ll note that my intial response, Item #79, was submitted last evening. For some reason, I didn’t see it and, therefore, assumed it was “eaten” by the system.

    Item #90 was resubmitted today.

    I ain’t completely CRAZEE, y’all 🙂

  118. dblhelix

    Rick, NMP, rikyrah: Bill Gates of the world are saying there is a shortage of U.S.-born engineers and so they need to import foreign workers to satisfy labor force demands. Obama in his book “Audacity of Hope” mentioned that in his talks with Silicon Valley execs, these folks expressed a strong desire to hire more blacks but found that there was a severe shortage of us studying in the engineering field.

    Time to halt the bullshit express.

    Bill Gates is just trying to justify the expansion of the HB-1 and L1 visa system. We’ve talked a lot on this board about Hispanic labor undercutting legal citizens. Same thing is going on in the more technical fields, do not be fooled.

    The alleged “shortage” of scientists/engineers -> pure rubbish to justify importation of cheap labor.

    Please read this in its entirety.

    excerpt: The nation’s increasing reliance on “temporary” guest-worker programs coupled with offshore outsourcing have further reduced job opportunities for African-American technology workers. Kevin Hinkston, a Howard University graduate and a former Hewlett Packard engineer who grew up in Oakland, reports that high-tech employers are no longer recruiting graduates from historically black colleges and universities the way they used to. Today, Hinkston is a real estate developer.

    I have enough to say about this “shortage of minorities in science & engineering” racket that would fill up several blog posts.

    And don’t get me started on the multi-millions that flow through academia to “solve the problem.” I personally believe it is carefully modulated to guarantee a perpetual ‘problem’ for academics to forever collect grant money. It’s one of the reasons I’m not necessarily on board with cultural pathology theories.

    My advice to motivated students thinking about the future — make Mandarin Chinese and Spanish part of your training.

  119. rikyrah

    dblhelix,

    I know all about HB-1 visa scam, and my immigrant disliking self is on that too.

    As long as there is ONE American programmer, IT person unemployed…

    there shouldn’t be ANY HB-1 visas given.

    My point of reference about us and science is from the Sista President of Rensselaer Polytechnic, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson. Saw her on C-Span during an episode of Q&A. She was very worried about the decreased emphasis of science within our school system.

    Plus, I read the business rags with the stories about China and India about the sheer volume of engineers, programmers, scientists that they’re creating. Do you know that 60% of our science PhD’s are foreign-born? I can’t think that’s a good thing.

  120. dblhelix

    I know all about HB-1 visa scam, and my immigrant disliking self is on that too.

    rikyrah, you are tough, but fair🙂

    Sista President of Rensselaer Polytechnic, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson. Saw her on C-Span during an episode of Q&A. She was very worried about the decreased emphasis of science within our school system.

    I’m going to see if I can find a transcript, and I’ll get back to you on this.

    Do you know that 60% of our science PhD’s are foreign-born? I can’t think that’s a good thing.

    I lived it. I’m surprised the number is that low. Also, the postdoctoral positions skew heavily foreign-born.

    One of the dirty secrets of science (grad and beyond) at research universities is the sheer exploitation that is enabled by having a foreign-born labor force.

  121. rikyrah

    I forgot who brought up Al Gore, but I’m willing to forgive him for not fighting in 2000. It’s taken YEARS for me to come to this point, because Al broke my heart in 2000.

    I think if Al got in the race, I’d be able to really breathe easy, because I think he would win.

    Hillary can’t win, no matter what her folks say.

    When over a year out, nearly 50%of the country says they won’t vote for you….believe them.

  122. dblhelix

    Found transcript here.

    I can speak to this. Most people do not realize that a physics education requires 4 yrs ugrad, an average of 6 yrs in grad school, another two years as a postdoc before you get a permanent position. So, you’re talking about 12 years of ‘seasoning’ before you even get started.

    Traditionally, there are two career tracks: academia or national lab. There are very few positions, and what she does not mention is that while there may be retirements as NASA, there are few civil servant positions open. It’s like anything else these days — so much cheaper just to contract. I have acquaintances w/ PhDs from grad school who are contracted out to NASA by beltway bandits.

    You are told that there’s a huge shortage and that it’s a national priority when you start. Twelve years later, you’re told there are no jobs. I recall that while I was a senior (already accepted into grad school) an article came out in Science that jobs in the field were in short supply. A professor remarked that we should not cry because in the early 70s, physics and chemistry PhDs were driving taxis.

    Positions in academia rely on “collegiality.” This means you have to be in sync with your colleagues; they must be comfortable with you; do not rock the boat. By and large, access, whether to the most prestigious research programs while in training or for a tenure-track position relies on personal recommendations. This goes a long way in explaining why so few black science professors, IMO.

    She brings up women in science — well, notice that she only has one child — the Hillary Clinton syndrome. The path to a permanent position is so competitive that if you take a time-out for children, you can hang it up. Remember, that if you get an asst professorship, you still have another four years to go to tenure. One thing I noticed in school is that the women professors all had children in their late 30s — in one case I recall serious health problems b/c the dept would not assist w/ reducing her load during a difficult pregnancy. I heard about another situation where an asst prof was badgered into a c-section so that she could be present at a doctoral defense at the appointed time.

    I will give her program at RPI all kinds of credit for emphasizing entrepreneurship, management, etc — they are responding to the reality that the traditional tracks do not offer much opportunity.

    I do recommend physics as one of the best, rigorous undergraduate degrees available. Moreover, it is an excellent prerequisite to law school (very few applicants from the sciences), medical school, any of the business-related graduate fields like finance, management, etc. Then learn Mandarin Chinese and write your own ticket.

    If you’re determined to be a scientist, follow an interdisciplinary program that ultimately leads you to biotechnology in the private sector.

  123. dblhelix

    I forgot to mention that if you are a US citizen that can get a clearance, then there are defense-related jobs, at least around here. If that’s something you’d like.

    But … Barack or Hillary might turn your world upside down while rooting around for ‘inefficiencies.’ 🙂

  124. Cliff

    NMP:
    “You got me in tears at work, man. It’s amazing that no matter how geographically and culturally divided we are, Black folks share the same experience.” My brain is on fire from this think tank. A people can only go through so much pain, so much struggle, so much oppression, so much disease, so much suffering, so much ridicule, so much hate, so much destruction, so much desecration, so much disunity, before God intervenes, and came to wipe away our tears.

    Jerimiah 31:16 “Thus said the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy”.

    Rick, hey wasup man.. With regard to our incarcerated brothas, and the brothas in the hood. Many people are confused when it comes to making a commitment to God. They think they don’t have to suffer or go through pain. Since it so easy to be a sinner, hypocrite, or agent for the enemy, the success which one receives going throug long-suffering which coincides with obediance to God is seems unobtainable to most of our youth. When you make a commitment to obey God, you have to suffer, you have to go through pain, like Bishop Jakes said at a serman “We need strong committed men and women, come hell or high water to say, “I will serve the Lord””. Manifest His reality, His intervention in our affairs, His love for black people. Expose the falsehoods and white supremacy injected in religion. Be the example, show how obeying God will bring you success.

  125. “But … Barack or Hillary might turn your world upside down while rooting around for ‘inefficiencies'”

    Here’s how it works…Republicans run up huge deficits by having their cronies loot the treasury while they cut taxes for the wealthiest 5 percent. Democrats follow that mess and attempt to balance the budget by hacking away at essentail services for poor people. I’ve seen it here in Michigan for the last 10 years and in the US government for the last 25 years. Same old routine and Hillary will fit right into the mix.

  126. Rick

    WSJ: “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has launched a behind-the-scenes campaign in defense of World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz against calls he relinquish his job.”

    Wolfie’s girlfriend was promoted to a salary higher than Condi’s. And if I were Condi, I would still be mad. if nothing else, I would have expected her to be silent…but to DEFEND the man? wow

  127. dblhelix

    Rick: Wolfie’s girlfriend was promoted to a salary higher than Condi’s. And if I were Condi, I would still be mad. if nothing else, I would have expected her to be silent…but to DEFEND the man? wow

    maybe she got a raise …

  128. rikyrah

    LMAO moment for the clearness of the absurdity of it all:

    Watching Scarborough Country, and what do I see, but the Evil One, getting off Air Force 2, WITH A VISIBLE BULLETT-PROOF VEST.

    If THAT picture isn’t worth a thousand words, then I don’t know what is.

  129. Rick

    “maybe she got a raise …”

    or maybe she’s just doing what her boss wants her to do. i still can’t see her doing this on her own initiative.

  130. Rick

    dblhelix –
    thanks for the article in post 136.

    blacks are facing competitive pressures at both the “low-end” (i.e. mexico/china cheap labor) and at the “high-end” (india/china) in this global economy. it was eye opening to read what was happening in the science field. i see what’s happening in my industry on the regular…

  131. On the morning she realized her husband and son would learn the family was losing their house, Carlene Balderrama, 53, faxed a note to the mortgage company, then went to the basement and shot herself.

    “I hope you’re more compassionate with my husband than you were with me,” she wrote in a suicide note left for the company.

    It is a dramatic picture of the worst that financial stress can wring. As home foreclosures and unemployment mount, so do their companion tales of fraud, robbery, arson and even murder. And though suicides remain rare, evidence that financial stress is erupting in rash, often illegal behavior isn’t difficult to find.

    “A lot of people, they just feel hopeless,” said Kita Curry, a psychologist and the president of Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center in Los Angeles, where the crisis line has seen a 20% jump calls from people citing financial woes. Centers in other cities are reporting as much as a 65% increase in calls.

    “If you’ve been evicted from your home and you’ve lost your job and they’re talking about unemployment rising, then what are you going to do?”
    Desperate acts in down economies
    It’s too early in the current downturn for national data crunchers to accurately observe fluctuations in suicides or crimes. And even then, analysts have a difficult time isolating motive, which is elusive. The underlying causes of crime trends always remain in dispute.

    The fraud data are also incomplete because insurance companies generally don’t release comprehensive figures, said Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a nonprofit that investigates fraud for the insurance industry.

    “Most of us have a sense that when the economy’s bad, people will do things that they wouldn’t normally do, especially insurance fraud, but that’s nothing more than a sense that people have,” he said.

    Still, the anecdotal indicators are hard to ignore. Nationwide, crimes of desperation are increasingly being chalked up to economic anxiety.

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